Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Boy Who Dared

Situated on the fringes of the village, the house was shaded by coconut trees and hydrated by a clear stream flowing with a quiet but determined pace. The household was well known, since most of the surrounding agricultural lands were theirs. It was a joint family, with most of the members engaged in the prosperous 'family business'.

His birth did not elicit any surprise. His horoscope was studied, then discarded, for it didn't matter. His future was already decided. He would study to a satisfactory level and join the family as an apprentice.

Little did they know that Fate had ordained differently for this young man.

He seemed different from the very beginning. Different to the extent that it caused his parents much concern. Bright, confident, arrogant, extraordinary, outrageous, curious was how his teachers described him. Among his friends,he was the ringleader, with a growing set of followers to his clan.

They knew. They knew that this youngster threatened to obliterate the thin fabric that held the family together. A meeting was held. A consensus was reached. The boy was too good to remain in the village. He was sent away to study in a bigger town. But before that, he was told that he would always have to return to his family after his education.

Years passed, times changed, dreams were conceived, determination emerged, and there were battles to be won back home.

It was a tough job. One boy, against a family opposing his career, his choice and everything he Believed in. To them, it seemed ridiculuous. To him, there was no other option. He had made up his made and nothing could alter his conviction.

In the end he won, for the simple reason that his passion was unfaltering, immeasurable and impregnable to the lure of fame or finance.

It was a new beginning for him. People from various locations, backgrounds, circumstances; with a common goal, a common desire and a common passion.

However, life wasn't smooth sailing anymore. The goals that he had lay in shambles. He was disillusioned  by the approach, the lack of creativity, the lack of application, the monotonous memorization that was expected of him.

Friendships blossomed. The occasional enemy was obliterated and a small but a definite change was seen.

His dream was his pride. His greatest strength, he felt was in his ambition. It always elicited surprise and awe. A certain regard for him, a silent applause for his courage to dream big. To dream about the unimaginable. About what seems beyond our reach.

But it all changed one evening. A shock that left him angry and hurting. Angry that his castle in the air was destroyed, hurt that it seemed ridiculous and saddened because there was some truth in what she had said.

But to laugh at what he had cherished since time immemorial? That seemed unbelievable. The dejected feeling persisted. It gnawed steadily until he deciced to prove that it was possible.

Years passed, people moved on and life trudged along familiar lines For  most people. After a point, a person is content with what life has offered to him and operates along a standard predictable pattern; oscillating between work, family and friends. Very few end up as what they originally aspired to be and fewer people realize their childhood dreams.

2020. A developed India. Atleast that was the general procrastination a decade ago.

He smiled to himself as he scanned his Acceptance letter. Sitting in his Boston apartment, he couldn't believe the miracle even though several months had elapsed. Not a day passed without him recollecting the day that changed everything. He wondered what had become of her. After all, she had distant ambitions too. But he never ventured to find out. Somethings were better left as the sweet mysteries of life.

It isn't everyday that Harvard is gracious enough to accept you into its privileged folds. And neither did he ever know that she was just across the bridge.

Note: The above story is my first story this year and its coming after a very long gap, so my apologies for any syntactical,logical, grammatical errors. The above piece is fictional and any resemblance to any persons living or dead are mere similarities and are purely coincidental.

The writing is different from my usual type and I suspect that the Jhumpa Lahiri book I read is partly responsible for that...